Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and Team USA have failed to reach their ambition of a World Cup Gold Medal, even unable to nab Bronze in the face of an offensive barrage from Dillon Brooks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Canada on Sunday.
America’s Semi-Final loss to Germany on Friday came as a shock to most in attendance and around the world, but history suggests it’s been quite the trend across recent World Cup tournaments.
USA failed to make the World Cup Final for three-straight tournaments in 1998, 2002 and 2006, before returning to the winners podium in 2010 after a Gold Medal game victory over Turkey. That squad included a then 22-year-old Stephen Curry, though the two-time MVP only averaged 4.6 points and 2.1 assists in 10.6 minutes per game throughout that campaign.
Curry returned for the next iteration in 2014, playing a bigger role in a tournament that culminated in a 129-92 demolition against Serbia in the Final. The four-time NBA champion played over 20 minutes per game, averaging 10.7 points and shooting 43.8% from three-point range.
That was the last time Curry competed in an international tournament, and since then the USA have failed to win a medal at the World Cup. After the losses to Germany and Canada, fans on social media have already been assembling potential U.S squads to exact revenge at next year’s Olympics in Paris.
Most of the hypothetical teams have included Curry despite the fact he’ll be 36 by the time the Olympics roll around. An Olympic Gold Medal is one of the few achievements he’s yet to fulfill, leading to speculation the Warrior star will be there in Paris. In an interview with ESPN earlier this offseason, Curry didn’t quite want to make a commitment just yet.
“I have no idea what next summer looks like. It’s obviously an extra bonus that Coach Kerr is leading that charge. I’d love to play for him any day of the week, so let’s see how it goes come summer ’24”, Curry said.
While the Olympics may be the aspect on everyone’s mind, the USA’s recent history at World Cups with and without Curry poses the question of whether he could be there in 2027? While that’s half facetious given America’s dominance at the Olympics and the mere coincidence of their World Cup failures, who would bet against a 39-year-old Curry still being a more than solid contributor?